Friday, December 02, 2005

Searching for Normalcy

I went to William & Mary for undergrad. W&M was no Florida State, Ohio State, or Wisconsin when it came to the party scene. However, like any institute of higher learning, we managed to have our fun. Although not everyone at Bill and Mary was socially competent, a good majority of the people were able to interact with other humans without breaking out into cold sweats or wetting themselves. It was the same at high school and all my summer interning experiences, so I assumed law school would be the same.

Boy was I wrong.

I wish someone had explained to me that a lot of people in law school don’t really understand how to interact with other people. Some people call this "being socially inept." Other, more eloquent, people call this "being a douchebag." I have decided to take a different path altogether. I’m not going to worry about classifying people after I’m in a situation anymore, it’s time to start being proactive. We need to start evaluating the possibility of having to interact with socially inept people. It’s time to look at a situation beforehand, whatever it may be, and estimating how many "normal people" will be there out of 100. I’m talking about a Normal People Quotient (NPQ).

I mean, we all now certain situations will inevitable end up in someone awkwardly suggesting that everyone play spin the bottle. This was cool in 4th grade, not in the second year of grad school. It’s not fun sitting through hours on end of non-sequitors like "Martha Stewart is sexy, in a do-your-own mom sort of way", "Sometimes I like to pretend that my laptop has feelings and we are friends," and "What does sex feel like?" The key to avoiding these situations, much like avoiding unwanted pregnancy, is prevention (also, to avoid unwanted pregnancy, refrain from drinking with whores).
Confused? It’s because I can’t write well. Let me try to explain through an example. Say Nye wanted to go to a happy hour next Friday. Here is the appropriate way to use the NPQ:

Nye: Tre, let’s go to this happy hour next Friday.

Tre: Maybe, who’s putting it on?

Nye: The Law School, the Med School, and the Nursing School.

Tre: Hold on a minute

At this point Tre takes a step back to evaluate the situation. law school and med school = low NPQ. However, nursing school has an NPQ of almost 100. This should make for a good event, thinks Tre. Luckily, Tre realizes that normal people ALSO use the NPQ, so when the nursing students look at the NPQ of the law school and med school, and they definitely won’t show. This would probably lead to an NPQ of about 10 at the event.

Tre: Nye, can’t do it, think about how low that NPQ is gonna be.

Nye: Smart, wow, thanks man, I totally didn’t think about that.

I’m telling you, this is going to be a social revolution, get on the bus now. So we can establish a frame of reference, here are certain settings with low and high NPQ’s:
Low NPQ:
Law school, med school, basically any graduate program that doesn’t have a correlating "sexy _______" Halloween costume.
Star Trek conventions
Academic Decathalons
Mental institutions
Strip clubs that charge less than a $10 cover, or that incorporate XXX into their name
The University of Michigan
The state of Michigan
NAMBLA, anywhere
Magic: The Gathering tournaments

High NPQ:
Nursing school
Most sporting events
The Sunday afternoon crowd at Uncle Woody’s (mostly Brown’s fans)
Bars with live music (surprisingly very consistent)
The Playboy Mansion
Most undergraduate institutions
Strip clubs (clubs that professional athletes frequent)
People who read this blog (or any of the blogs that we blogroll, respek)

People, we need to start thinking about the social consequences of our actions. I urge you to think about the NPQ before you make any social decision. If we do this, eventually natural selection will erase the socially awkward from the human population. That or they will form an isolated genetic pool that will eventually take over the world using tactics learned from Dungeons & Dragons. Like the Amish, I mean, if they had computers.


Anonymous said...

Bars with live music? I guess if you count huge dills in the NPQ this is an acceptable statment, but most bands that play live at bars in the 'Nati are supremely doucheriffic (TM). These places unsuprisingly are havens for hot, yet vapid and devoid of personality girls and a much higher number of "cool guys" (by cool I mean doucheriffic). If these people are normal something is wrong with the world. Here's a tip guys: don't wear black leather jackets, don't pop your collars, don't go for the wet look.

Tre! said...

Dear 'Natian,

It is obvious that you suffer from the common disease in SW Ohio of believing that Cincinnati is the only place on Earth. I'm speaking of bars that have live music all over the place, and I don't mean Paul Otten.

Big Brother said...

You wrote this while at work. I'm alerting your superiors. I'll assume that your co-workers made you think about the NPQ. Not helpful to your cause.

Anonymous said...

I think 'natian misses the point. The people at those bars might not be people you'd be friends with, but they're much more normal than the people at law school. Think of it in these terms: who would you rather sit next to on a long flight, the guy who pops his collar, or the guy who makes podcasts of his first year classes?

big brother said...

I'll answer that one for you as a former collar-popper. You want to sit next to the collar popper cuz he's gonna tell you how to score w/ chicks. Nothing adds to the NPQ more than scoring with chicks.